Santa sent millions of letters a year

Santa Claus, the Three Wise men and other guardians of Christmas traditions receive 8 million letters per year, even as the internet era has made traditional mail less popular, the UN post agency says.

The number of children's letters to these Christmas figures has risen by a third over the past five years, the Universal Postal Union (UPU) said.

Although the letters are often simply addressed to 'Santa, North Pole' or to 'Father Christmas', postal workers in countries ranging from Brazil to Finland to Lebanon make sure that they are not returned as undeliverable.

In several countries, services have been set up so that children receive actual replies to their letters.